Can Dogs Eat Limes? Are They Safe or Toxic?

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Dogs love to eat everything we do, and you may have asked yourself now and then – can dogs eat limes? If you’re cracking open a Corona at a summer BBQ, or preparing a refreshing Mojito at the end of a hectic day, you might be tempted to toss a lime wedge to your dog – either to see if they like it, or to get a bit of a giggle at the disgusted face they are bound to pull after licking it.

The fact is, limes (and lemons) are not okay to feed to your dog. We take a look at the reasons limes aren’t good for your pup, and what to do if you see your dog eating these citrus fruits.

Can dogs eat limes?

can dogs eat limes

Dogs can’t (and shouldn’t) eat limes. This is because citric acid doesn’t agree with dogs, and can make them very sick if they ingest too much of the fruit or juice.

Are limes good for dogs?

Despite the numerous health benefits of fresh citrus fruits for humans, limes (and lemons) are always a big NO for your furry companions.

Are limes bad for dogs?

Dogs should never be allowed to eat limes or lemons. This is due to the high citric acid content in the fruit. Every part of limes (including the peel), and the lime trees themselves, are toxic for your dogs.

If you see your dog eating lime or lemon fruit, contact your vet for guidance, as poisoning is possible. In most cases, eating limes will just cause an upset stomach for your pup, but it’s always best to be on the safe side.

can dogs eat limes or lemons

Why does my dog react strongly to the taste of limes?

Humans react strongly to the strong, sour hit of fresh limes and lemons – so it’s no surprise that your dog does too!

It’s unlikely that dogs will happily munch away on limes as they are too tart for their taste buds. Even so, you shouldn’t jokingly give your dog limes or lemons just to see their reaction, because even a small amount can be bad for them.

Can dogs drink lime juice?

The answer is still…NO! Anything containing lime juice or lemon juice is a no-go for your pup – and this especially includes limeade and lemonade, which also contain high amounts of sugar.

can dogs eat limes or lemons

Can dogs eat any other lime flavoured foods?

Key lime pie, lime popsicles, line yogurt, lime ice cream, lime soda, lime-ade, lemonade….these are all NO for your dog, as they can contain high amounts of lime juice and citric acid.

What happens if my dog eats limes?

Depending on your dog’s size and how much lime they’ve ingested – you should monitor them and check that they’re not showing any signs of lime poisoning (see below).

As limes and lemons are so sour, it’s likely your dog will have only taken a small lick and decided it was NOT a good idea. But if you’re worried for any reason, consult your vet for guidance.

What happens if my dog gets lime juice on their skin or fur?

Make sure you wash your dog immediately with gentle soap and water if you notice they have citrus juice splashed on their face or body. The juice can cause rashes or skin irritations.

can dogs eat limes

What other citrus fruits are bad for dogs?

Grapefruit is the other big citrus fruit that’s a big no for your dog. Like limes and lemons, they’re really high in citric acid, which can be toxic to your pup.

What citrus fruits can my dog eat?

Your dog can actually eat oranges – but in small doses, as they can cause upset stomachs and have a high sugar content.

If your dog is a fruitaholic, try giving them fruits like apples (with seeds removed), strawberries, and bananas as a safe and healthy snack now and then.

can dogs eat limes or lemons

Is the Vitamin C in fruit good for my dog?

Vitamin C is good for all of us – and that includes your dog! But like us, they need the right kind of Vitamin C, and the right amounts to provide optimal health benefits (without giving them an embarrassing case of diarrhea!)

Vitamin C benefits for your dog

  • It can fight viruses and bacteria
  • It can boost your dog’s immunity
  • It can ease allergies
  • It helps keep their coat and skin in good condition
  • It can prevent joint and spinal issues
  • It’s a great antioxidant!

Can my dog eat Vitamin C safely?

Even though your dog can’t eat limes or lemons, they can safely eat other fresh and cooked fruits and vegetables that contain valuable Vitamin C.

These include:


  • Asparagus
  • Green and red pepper
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts


  • Oranges (in small amounts)
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple (in small amounts)

can dogs eat limes or lemons
Cauliflower is a safe and healthy snack for dogs

Should I see the vet if my dog eats limes?

If you’re worried about your dog being at risk after eating limes, lemons, or other citrus fruit – it’s best that you check with your vet and get advice to be on the safe side.

Ensure your dog is well hydrated, and monitor them to check for any symptoms of lime or lemon poisoning.

Lime and lemon poisoning in dogs

Both lime and lemon trees produce toxic compounds in the form of essential oils – which are safe for us as humans, but toxic to our furry companions.

If your dog comes into contact with tiny amounts of these toxins, it’s likely to be just fine. But larger amounts can cause upset stomach and other distressing symptoms for your dog, and for you – and you should see your vet immediately.

Symptoms of lime and lemon poisoning in dogs

If your dog has ingested a large amount of lime or lemon fruit, or eaten any of these plants in your garden, they may be at risk of poisoning from the toxic compounds and natural essential oils contained in the leaves and fruit skin.

So if you’ve found your dog munching on your citrus trees, keep an eye out for these symptoms in case your dog has ingested enough to poison themselves:

  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling (more than normal!)
  • Cold limbs
  • Lethargy
  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Loss of limb coordination
  • Cold legs
  • Tremors
  • Light sensitivity

If your dog has poisoned themselves with limes or lemons, they may even collapse, or be at risk of liver failure and death as extreme symptoms.

Diagnosis and treatment of lime or lemon poisoning for dogs

If you suspect your dog has poisoning, take them to your vet as soon as possible. Your vet will ask questions about the amount of citrus fruit or plant consumed, and it will be helpful if you can identify the plant in question, and which parts were eaten by your dog.

The vet may take blood, stool, and urine samples to determine which toxins your dog has ingested. They will also check your dog’s vital signs, such as reflexes, coordination, and heart and blood pressure rates to pinpoint if your dog has been affected in any specific ways.

If your dog’s condition is serious, the vet may perform a gastric irrigation to remove as much of the toxins as possible from your dog’s stomach. They will then feed your dog activated charcoal to prevent more toxins being absorbed into your pup’s bloodstream.

Your pet might be given IV fluids or oxygen if they’re dehydrated or having problems breathing. If they’re having tremors or seizures, they may be given medication to ease these symptoms.

Can dogs recover from lime or lemon poisoning?

If your dog only has mild symptoms and is treated quickly by your vet, your dog should make a full recovery quite quickly.

But if your dog has ingested a lot of essential oils from a citrus plant, they may need a few days to get back to normal, and they’ll need to be carefully monitored for a while by your vet to ensure they don’t have any long-lasting kidney or liver problems.

In summary – can dogs eat limes or lemons?

Limes and lemons are a big NO for your dog to eat! You should never feed them these fruits, or let them eat citrus plants in your garden. Limes, lemons, and grapefruit are a serious threat to your dog’s health and may require urgent veterinary attention if your dog has consumed them

If you suspect your dog has been chowing down on limes, contact your vet immediately and ask for advice. Prevention is better than expensive vet bills though – so make sure your dog is kept well away from lemons and limes at all times.

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BarkZine is a small team of devoted dog owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.

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BarkZine is a small team of devoted dog owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.